Boks happy with second?

Bring back the smile!

Tank Lanning

The second best team in the world plays the ninth best team in the world, are 21-3 up with more than 30 minutes to play, but hang onto to win 21-10 with the most of the possession and territory stats going in favour of the ninth best team, and the coach and captain laud the fight of the second best team?

“Athough we made a lot of mistakes I am still happy with the performance and the character of this team has improved,” said coach Heyneke Meyer, who also said he was happy to bank an ugly win over a defeat …

I just cannot imagine either Steve Hanson or Richie McCaw uttering those words after a second half like the one seen from the Boks at Murrayfield. So are the Boks happy to scrap it out with Australia, France and England for that second spot on the log while the All Blacks skip off into the sunset?

To be honest, I do feel a little bad about bagging the Boks for their creatively challenged approach to the game after eking out wins on tour at the end of a long, long season. Especially as seasoned campaigners like Bryan Habana and Corne Krige heap praise on the side for their gutsy defence.

But then I remind myself that these guys are the bloody Springboks, not the Sweet Valley U12B’s … The Springboks should absolutely not be settling for second place on the IRB rankings. The Springboks should be bitter about the All Blacks being so much better than they are at the moment and should be doing absolutely everything in their power to be not only world beaters but world leaders.

And that simply cannot include lauding the defensive efforts against the 8th and 9th ranked sides, even when playing in their patch at the end of the season …

Please at least have the decency to concede the fact that watching grass grow is fast becoming a more entertaining spectacle than watching the Boks play …

“Wow, what a crap game of rugby, and that is not something we as a team are striving toward, or proud of, but in an attempt to grow our depth and evolve as a team, eking out an ugly win is better for team morale than a loss” would be more acceptable from Meyer as he at least takes cognizance of the SA rugby fan’s intellect …

Look, he would still be lying as he certainly does not look to have any intent in evolving the Bok game, and that for me, is the saddest part of the current regime.

It was fantastic to see the smiling face of Juan de Jongh on the park for the Boks. Smiling because he enjoys his rugby and wants to play a game that entertains not only himself, but also his team mates and fans. Let’s get these highly skilled individuals enjoying themselves again …
Current IRB World Rankings:
1 NEW ZEALAND               92.91
2 SOUTH AFRICA              85.50
3 AUSTRALIA                     84.82
4 FRANCE                             84.58
5 ENGLAND                         83.09
6 WALES                               80.60
7 ARGENTINA                   80.29
8 IRELAND                          79.04
9 SCOTLAND                       77.97
10 SAMOA                           77.14


  1. Hi tank living in New Zealand I have pay to Sky television over and above the sports channel to have the privilege no the honour to view the Bok matches. What a waste of money and time I am so disappointed.
    The word out in NZ is the Boks have no creativity no real style and have no idea what a backline is actually used for. Saying that at least they keep straight channels even if it is into other players maybe after some evolutionary changes the Boks might decide that the gaps are the place to run at.
    I am just venting I am one very disappointed fan that we have not improved over the last 12 or so games.

  2. Cannot add much to what you so succintly have already said Tank, suffice to say that I am very disappointed to date in HM – I am beginning to ask whether his success at the Bulls was due to his coaching and strategising abilities or due to the players that the Bulls had managed to acquire coupled with the two goal kickers whose success percentages were always in the 80-90% bracket. I suppose only time will tell.

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